Starting at 6:30 PM, Willendrup will meet with guests as he prepares to review his book during the Friends of the Colusa County Library’s Author’s Evening held at the Colusa Branch Library.
Willendrup first presented his book in Colusa County in February during a special presentation hosted by the Sacramento Valley Museum.
His book tells the human side of the Mt. Lassen eruptions. From the photographers to the people whose lives were put in direct path of its destruction.
When he was a child, Willendrup and his father took a fishing trip every chance they had; many of those trips were to Manzanita Lake.
There, the lake is overshadowed by Mt. Lassen, the “Sleeping Giant” that erupted Willendrup’s curiosity.
Having a major in History and Journalism, Willendrup received his masters degree in History from the California State University, Chico. It was there he completed his thesis “The Lassen Peak Eruptions and their Lingering Legacy” in 1975.
In 1983, Willendrup was contacted to have the book published.
“I was approached by the Northern California Records and Research Society, and they said ‘We would like to publish your work and would you be interested,’ and I said ‘Of course I would,’” Willendrup commented.
For years, it remained as originally published, a near replica of Willendrup’s thesis. The book filled with great stories was never marketed to a broader audience.
“It sat around and collected dust in bookstores and libraries as a resource from time to time,” said Willendrup. “I think even a few historical societies.”
In May of 2015, Willendrup was contacted by the Association for Northern California Historical Research and asked if he was interested in republishing his original work, offering an expanded and revised edition.
Willendrup taught history and journalism at Colusa High School from 1985 to 2003.■